Light of the world

For God in all his fullness was pleased to live in Christ. Colossians 1:19 NLT

For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body. Colossians 2:9 NLT

friendofsinners

Friend of sinners

That scene where Peter makes his enlightened confession of Christ leads me to ponder. As I recall from scripture, only 3 disciples witnessed the transfiguration. Before that, the 12, just like everyone else, saw the natural man Yeshua, son of Yosef, with their natural eyes. Asked “Who do people say I am?”, there was no risk (per se) for the disciples to answer Yeshua’s question; they simply repeated what they’d heard. Not once did Yeshua say “BZZT! Wrong!” Even when some of the answers were preposterous. “John the Baptist? Someone thought I was John the Baptist? He baptized Me! How could I be him?!?” No, Yeshua just listened. But then He asks the $64,000 question; one fraught with risk of humiliation for the disciples. Did fear of speaking foolishly make for complete silence? How long did the proverbial crickets chirp?

Once again, it was Peter who got out of the boat and declared what man can see only with eyes opened by God:

“You are Messiah – Son of the Living God”.

It’s interesting to me how in scripture translators so often remain “in the boat”, taking the safe way out with their interpretations of the Greek manuscripts. For example, consider the word “in” below.

But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, to reveal His Son IN me, so that I might preach Him among the Gentiles. (Galatians 1:15-16 EMTV)

The Greek word “en” is a preposition, which means, according to Strong’s and Thayer’s Greek dictionaries, “in, by, to”, etc. The 30+ English Bible translations I have are fairly evenly divided between “in” and “to” in their translation of Galatians 1:15-16. Such small words but with such a BIG difference. The one happens internally, the other, externally. Strong’s and Thayer’s elaborate on the Greek word “en” as being from a “fixed position”, “medially” (in the midst of) and “instrumentality”. Specifically, the Son of God was revealed in the midst of Paul’s very being where Paul became an instrument of the Son’s revelation to the Gentiles.

Strong’s dictionary also translates the Greek word “en” as “through”, though not one translation of Galatians 1:15-16 renders it that way. “En” occurs some 536 times in the NT, of which the KJV (for example) translates it “through” just 37 times. For reasons unknown the translators of the KVJ rendered it “in”, and thereafter most english translations have simply followed suit (remained in the boat of “precedence”). Personally, I believe “through” would have been the spiritually insightful and “out of the boat” translation for Galatians 1:15-16. For just as it was with Paul, the Messiah – the Son of the Living God – is being revealed through us to an unbelieving world.

In similar vein, the word “preach” is translated from the Greek word “euaggelizo” which also means “show”. Accordingly the following is my suggestion for what I consider a more “out of the boat” translation of Galatians 1:15-16 :

But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, to reveal His Son in through me, so that I might preach show Him among the Gentiles. (Galatians 1:15-16 JAV (Jack’s Amplified Version))

As often as we talk about about being “Jesus with skin on” for a world that needs to see Him, isn’t that a more faithful rendering of the passage?

You are the Light of the World. (Matthew 5:14)

How does that all apply to those of us who are daughters and sons of the Most High (1 John 3:1)? Well, the world initially sees us as a “son (or daughter) of man”; with their natural eyes they see our natural being. But eventually the presence of the Son within us will make an appearance and prompt them with the same question He put to Peter and the disciples: “Who do you say that I am?” Those to whom He chooses to reveal Himself, those for whom He has opened spiritual eyes, will see the Son of God in and through us. Recognition of Christ is not instantaneous; it occurs through relationship over time as He reveals His character through us. The apostle Peter, for example, walked with Yeshua for nearly 2 years before making his confession “You are Messiah, Son of the Living God”.

The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. (Romans 8:11 NLT)

Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? (1 Corinthians 6:19 NLT)

So, you find yourself surrounded by unclean sinners? That’s a good thing, I think – the Father has placed you where He can reveal His Son IN and THROUGH you to those who need Him. Rejoice! You are an instrument of the Son’s revelation.

May you be witness to the awakening of many sleepers and the resurrection of many dead!